The Knowsley Safari Park baboons were chosen for the endurance demonstration because of their well-known love of tearing park visitors’ cars apart – most famously England soccer star Wayne Rooney’s vehicle last year.
Hyundai’s new i30 (Elantra) besieged by park primates.
It may not pay homage to modern parenting, but’s next-generation i30 (Elantra) hatchback survives the ultimate childproofing test – using a troop of baboons.
The product wear-and-tear demonstration took place this week at Knowsley Safari Park in Prescot, 200 miles (322 km) northwest of London, where the park’s baboons were given free access to the car inside and out.
says the offbeat endurance test is the first of its kind by a U.K. auto maker, explaining the i30 is specially designed for families. Extra-strong materials are used for the interior, including easy-wipe plastics, tough fittings and high-quality steel for the bodywork.
The Knowsley Safari Park baboons were chosen for the assignment because of their well-known love of tearing park visitors’ cars apart – most famously England soccer star Wayne Rooney’s vehicle when he visited the Merseyside attraction last year.
The i30 test car was besieged by dozens of the park’s primates when it was parked in the baboon enclosure, but 10 hours later it emerged unscathed, Hyundai says.
The monkeys simulated the kind of punishment children of a typical family give to a car – jumping up and down on the seats, pushing and prodding buttons and opening and closing storage bins. The baboons even checked the durability of cupholders.
“Outside, the paintwork was smeared and scraped, but the hard-wearing paint protected the car from significant scratches and chips,” Hyundai says in a statement.
Other baboons tested the seat fabric by eating their lunch in the car, while some played with their toys in the i30’s hatchback area.
As well as confirming the robust quality of the i30, Hyundai says it hopes lessons learned from the monkey tests can help in the research and development of future cars.
“You have to be pretty brave to subject a car to the most rigorous quality testers in the world, and the monkeys certainly gave our new-generation i30 a thorough examination,” says Felicity Wood, Hyundai i30 product manager.
“The fact that it survived with only a few scrapes is testament to the way a modern Hyundai is designed and engineered.”
Knowsley Safari Park General Manager David Ross says he’s seen thousands of cars pass through the enclosure and be mobbed by monkeys, and none have lasted the distance as well as the Hyundai.
“These baboons are incredibly inquisitive,” he says. “If you put them on any car, they will scour it for the weak points and find any faults. At one point, there were 40 monkeys in the car, pushing it to its limits – that’s 10 times the size of the average human family.”